"The noose was on his pillow, the dark rope starkly outlined against the crisp linen case ..."
Massachusetts caterer and minister's wife Faith Fairchild is back in the twelfth delectable mystery by award-winning author Katherine Hall Page. The incomparable ex-New Yorker's investigative prowess is put to its most stringent test when twisted hatred and blind bigotry become ingredients for murder.THE BODY IN THE BONFIRE
Taking advantage of the January doldrums in the catering business, Faith goes undercover at Mansfield Academy, a prestigious prep school, after learning about anonymous racist attacks against senior, Daryl Martin. During the school's Project Term, she volunteers to teach Cooking for Idiots, and soon learns more about the darker side of adolescence and the academic in-fighting at Mansfield than she wants to know. Someone, determined to undermine her inquiries, tampers with the ingredients for her cooking demonstrations. Then the incinerated remains of Faith's prime suspect are discovered in the smoldering ashes of the traditional Project Term. It's not mischief but murder!
The headmaster's wife, an expert on Russian art... and men; the history teacher with a cultlike following; the loner, junior Zach Cohen, hacker extraordinaire; and Internet obsessed freshman Danny Miller, the son of Faith's best friend and neighbor, are all connected, but how? Faith frantically struggles to make sense of it, all too aware of the killer's deadly presence tracking her every move. It's a race to save Mansfield and her own life.
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Katherine Hall Page is the author of twenty-two previous Faith Fairchild mysteries, the first of which received the Agatha Award for best first mystery. The Body in the Snowdrift was honored with the Agatha Award for best novel of 2006. Page also won an Agatha for her short story “The Would-Be Widower.” The recipient of the Malice Domestic Award for Lifetime Achievement, she has also been nominated for the Edgar, the Mary Higgins Clark, the Maine Literary, and the Macavity Awards. She lives in Massachusetts and Maine with her husband.From Publishers Weekly:
Despite three brutal murders and some ugly racial prejudice in this 12th mystery to feature amateur sleuth Faith Fairchild, Agatha Award-winner Page (The Body in the Belfry, etc.) keeps the tone light as her heroine reflects wittily on the quotidian challenges of being the wife (and daughter) of a clergyman, the mother of two young children and the head of her own catering business. At Mansfield Academy, a not-so-elite boys' boarding school in a small town outside Boston, someone is harassing black student Daryl Martin, a top athlete and scholar. Faith's friend Patsy Avery calls her in to find out who's responsible for the hate-filled e-mail, offensive newspaper clippings and finally a noose left on Daryl's pillow. Under the cover of teaching a cooking class during winter project term, Faith searches for clues. At the same time, students and maintenance crew build a gigantic pyre for the school's annual bonfire. Faith is sure she's identified the harasser, Sloane Buxton, the aristocratic and handsome leader of a campus clique. When Sloane's corpse turns up in the smoldering embers of the bonfire, suspicion falls on Daryl. The harried headmaster, meanwhile, who rescued Mansfield from bankruptcy years before by buying it, has a lot of explaining to do to concerned parents. With recipes of the dishes Faith prepares in her cooking class in an appendix, this whodunit provides fully satisfying fare for a cold winter's night around the fire. Agent, Faith Hamlin.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
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